Category: Meeting Summary

August 1, 2018 – Business meeting

August 1, 2018 – business meeting

  1. Rebecca Anwar presented a slideshow on her medical trip to the interior of Guyana in 2018.
  2. A preliminary financial review of the lobster pot suggests net income of approximately $6000. Club members noted their appreciation for the work by Rebecca Anwar, the rest of the planning committee, and the many volunteers who worked on the project.

3. Larry Schofer again presented his proposal to change the amount of the reserve fund held by the club foundation. A final vote could not be taken because of lack of a quorum. The issue will be taken up again at the business meeting in September.

July 11, 2018 – business meeting

Business meeting, July 11, 2018


1. Officers for the coming year were elected

President – Les Rosenwinkel

President-elect – Larry Schofer

Vice president – Larry Daniels

Treasurer – Ed Naumes

Secretary – Marie Lachat


2. Chestnut Hill Rotary club foundation

board members ex-officio: President Les Rosenwinkel, President-elect Larry Schofer, past president Chris Spolsky

Two representatives to the Chestnut Hill Rotary foundation were elected for a two-year term

Frank Hollick

Megan McCrea


Continuing on for the second year of a two-year term

Tim Ziegler

Allison Corboy


3. Chris Spolsky and Elliot Schwartz reported their impressions of the Rotary International convention in Toronto.


4. Rebecca Anwar reported on the progress of the lobster pot. She encouraged all members to sell tickets and to sign up for some tasks on the day of the event, July 28.


5. Chris Spolsky reviewed the activities of the past year

a) a new website was created for the club – now active at Chestnut Hill

The site includes a calendar of future meetings and minutes from previous meetings.

b) we sponsored our first jazz fest. This required a significant effort by the organizing committee. We made a small amount for the foundation, and we acquired a lot of experience should we wish to repeat the program. We also saw that it is possible to raise a significant amount of money in sponsorships.

Sponsored our annual lobster pot.

c) we worked with the Parkway High School for Peace and Social Justice on several projects:

joined the school advisory council

set up the first part of a peace garden

provided judges for their annual senior project presentations

sponsored 4 students at RYLA (Rotary Young Leadership Assembly)

helped prepare the organization of an Interact club, which is supposed to start in the coming school year

d) Distributed dictionaries to all third-graders in three local elementary schools

e) provided volunteer readers at Jenks school on a weekly basis

f) established a relationship with PAR recycling (training for released convicts) – electronics recycling drive each month

g) Pergola in Chestnut Hill/Mount Airy – performed several maintenance sessions on the pergola garden

h) participated in the Rotary international campaign to plant one tree for every member – we exceeded our quota by planting more than 50 trees

i) Pathways program for homeless families – paid the fees for high school equivalent examinations; provided Christmas presents for several families

j) significantly improved our public relations effort for the club – we now see most of our meetings described in advance in the Chestnut Hill Local

k) changed the setup in the provision of breakfasts – we still provide breakfast, but by using volunteers we were able to reduce club dues by 20% for the coming year

l) provided continuing support on an individual basis for the family of Phil Tankel


International programs

a) Hope children’s home in Guyana – continued our support

b) continued support for Shelter Box

c) continued support for Light Up Gambia

d) continued support for the habitat program of the Yerba Linda Rotary club

e) sponsored a special fund drive among our members for the benefit of Rotaplast

f) gave support to the Paoli-Berwyn Rotary club for the establishment of a commercial goat dairy in Gambia


5. The club presented a small gift to Chris Spolsky in appreciation for her work this year as president (and for her activity in many committees).

June 20, 2018 – Pachamama Alliance

Yasmin Goodman, report on the Pachamama Alliance.

The hope of the Pachamama Alliance is to work with the local tribes to preserve their culture and the environment against the inroads of outside sources, in particular oil exploration companies. The mission of the alliance is “to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.”


The alliance strives to educate the indigenous people so that they may control the tools that they need to protect themselves and their lands and culture.


Yasmin also reported on a project entitled the “Jungle mama’s program”, an attempt to help the local women learn about safe birthing practices.


Yasmin testified that her trip to the Ecuadorian Andean highlands was indeed a life-changing experience for her.

June 13, 2018 – Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network

Rachel Falcove, executive director of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network

This organization, serving homeless and formally homeless families in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia, is part of a network entitled “Family Promise”. Rachel Falcove became executive director of the local group 17 years ago.

PHIN is often considered as an organization whose major activity is to provide shelter for homeless families, but it has embarked on new directions because of the lack of affordable rental housing in the Philadelphia area. It can take up to a year to find housing for families in shelters, which is a very expensive and inefficient system.

Rachel pointed out that the problem of affordable housing is not confined to the unemployed or the currently homeless. This is also a major problem for working families, who often have problems paying the rent and maintaining a job.

Many families have problems because of a past eviction notice, whether actually carried out or not, and because of gender specific and density specific housing rules imposed by the federal government.

PHIN has developed a program of the “shallow rent” subsidy, meaning a few hundred dollars a month to help working families find a decent place to live and to stay in the neighborhood where they have contacts. The organization also in some cases leases and apartment, and then subleases to tenants at a reasonable figure. In some cases the agency holds the earned income credit that some families receive, because it annual credit of this size showing up in a bank account would affect support on a long-term basis.

PHIN is also working with other groups to establish a “tiny house community”, an intentional community for single-parent households. The small prefabricated houses are intended to create permanent housing at affordable prices for needy families.

The Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network depends on community support for all its activities. It has more than 1500 volunteers from 56 congregations, 9 universities, and 2 seminaries.


May 16, 2017 – Play therapy

Play therapist Tammi van Hollander (daughter of member Elliot Schwartz) presented ideas about “the nurtured heart approach” to dealing with children (created by Howard Glasser).

This approach is about energizing children in a positive way. Adults often give kids energy through negativity. The idea of this approach is to give positive recognition to specific activities. The approach is multi-sensory, utilizing a connection to children through play.

Tammi has developed “kinesthetic storytelling”, as seen in her recently published book Casey’s Greatness Wings. The book includes exercises on getting children to recognize greatness in themselves.

April 25, 2018 – Chestnut Hill Community Association

The meeting was addressed by Anne McNiff, recently appointed executive director of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Anne is a long time Mount Airy resident with a number of years of experience working with the non-profit world.

 Aunt pointed out that the community is changing, now incorporating many “renters by choice”, in contrast to the long-time homeowners’ outlook prevalent in the community. She sees a need to integrate these renters into the community.

 2018 is also the time for collaborative work for a green initiative. Chestnut Hill is the “garden district” of Philadelphia, but it is necessary to work with other neighborhoods as well in such things as an aging tree canopy, water sources, carbon exhaust, etc.

 She sees possible partnerships with local schools and with other groups in ongoing service projects.

 On May 20 the Association will partner with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy for a great houses tour.

April 18, 2018 – The Luckiest Guy in the World

Ray Loewe bills himself as “the luckiest guy in the world”. After several anecdotes about interesting events in his life, mainly related to his travels to five continents, he talked about the need that each individual think seriously about planning his or her life activities. He does not like the notion of “retirement”; instead, he talks of “transition”.

 Very often individuals focus on their weaknesses and try to improve them, a task that is often difficult to perform. Instead, Ray feels that individuals should focus on their strengths and build on them. He has become a spokesman for this approach to life – “Change your story… Discover your dream”. Information on the courses that he runs and other activities can be found his website at

April 11, 2018 – Medical mission in Guyana

Rebecca Anwar recently returned from Guyana. She gave a report on a medical mission sponsored by the Demerera Rotary Club in Georgetown, Guyana. The group traveled in three vans some 400 miles to the southern part of the country, where they conducted medical screenings for the local Amerindian population. This population is subject to a large number of diseases, to which they have low resistance because of the high cholesterol, low variety diet that they have.

 Rebecca also reported on some improvements at the orphanage that have received financial support from our club. The most recent improvement was phase 1 of solar panels, which provide light at times of blackouts. This has proved very helpful for the children. Plans for subsequent phases of the solar panels include full electrification through these panels, but this will require more fundraising.

Rebecca has also been able to work with local vendors to supply “go slow” signs in front of the orphanage and for various other projects supporting the children. These contributions by local merchants suggests that they have begun to recognize the high quality of the care given at the Hope Children’s home.

April 4, 2018 – visit by Rotary district governor Dawn deFuria

The meeting was addressed by District Gov. Dawn deFuria.

One of her principal aims during her time in office has been to bring fun back into Rotary, and as such she has run a campaign called “Get on board with Rotary”.


The district will celebrate the current year with a “whistle stop tour” on the weekend of April 20 to 22. There will be an annual awards banquet on the evening of Friday, April 20, at the Springfield country club. A conference will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Doubletree Hotel in Valley Forge (7:45 AM-5 PM. Finally, the district will celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2018, by planting at least 80 trees in Heuser Park in King of Prussia. Registration is open at


Dawn noted that the president of Rotary international, Ian Riseley, has made it one of the goals of his year in office to plant one tree for every member of Rotary around the world. Our club, Chestnut Hill Rotary, has reached that goal of planting one tree for each member.

Club meeting, March 14, 2018 – Rotary peace fellow

A presentation was made by Mohsin El Hallouati, a candidate whom our club is supporting for a Rotary peace fellowship.

From the Rotary International website: “Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.”


Mohsin is from Morocco. He was trained as a mechanical engineer. His father is a soldier, and frequently was away from home for extended periods with the troops enforcing Morocco’s claim to the western Sahara. This absence of a parent in the army encouraged Mohsin to think of peaceful alternatives to conflict.


In Morocco he worked as a Peace Corps trainer (he speaks 6 languages), and he came to the US on a Smith Kline Glaxo fellowship for non-profit work. His contacts here with refugees from all over Africa have made him aware of the urgent need to peaceful solutions to conflicts. He would like to develop his extensive media experience in his conflict resolution path.



Three members received pins as Paul Harris fellows ($1,000 contributions over time to Rotary International): Maxine Dornemann, Herb Henze, Jack Soeffing.